17 September 2015

With South Africa having joined the BRICS economies and with growing global interest in investment opportunities across the African continent, UBM believe 2015 is a timely year to bring World Routes to Africa. Durban and KwaZulu-Natal offer a strong economy that features a new airport and good tourism product, which Routes felt would be of interest to attendees. Durban is also South Africa’s second largest city, most popular domestic leisure tourism destination and has Africa’s busiest harbour that boasts an excellent event venue in the Durban ICC.

The Honourable MEC for Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Nala, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu and the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, the Honourable Cllr James Nxumalo extend a warm and sunny welcome to the attendees of the 21st edition of the World Routes Development Summit.

“We wish to encourage each and every one of you to use this invaluable time to network with industry peers and leaders; explore what Durban has on offer as a premium tourist destination; see, taste, feel, hear and smell…and take with you knowledge and fond memories that will hopefully draw your heart back to Durban, its people and the vast rich culture it imparts in those who are open to endless possibilities,” states Mr Mabuyakhulu.

In 2013, UBM Aviation Worldwide Limited decided that the 21st installment of this international gathering would be held in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in 2015, and this decision was definitely not made by mere chance. In recent years, Durban has strategically positioned itself as a world-class African city, having successfully hosted high profile events like COP17 and the BRICS Summit. It was also a catalyst in successfully hosting thousands of football fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UBM believe Africa is the perfect continent to host World Routes 2015.

This year is also a perfect moment to bring World Routes to Africa, because KwaZulu-Natal, and moreover Durban, has a strong economy, the state-of-the-art King Shaka International Airport, and excellent tourist attractions on offer. Durban also lies at the hub of Africa’s first purpose-built aerotropolis, transforming KwaZulu-Natal into a noteworthy player in the global supply chain – with Dube Trade Port strategically located between Southern Africa’s two primary seaports – Durban and Richards Bay. And not to mention the hospitality and friendliness of the people!

The decision to host World Routes 2015 was mainly triggered by the province’s ambition to grow the connectivity to destinations throughout the world in order to create new partnerships within a domestic as well as international sphere. That is why the City of Durban would be the site to conduct strategic meetings in the various aviation sectors, exhibitions and interactive direct business sessions lined up as part of World Routes 2015. The latter is designed to create an avenue for role players in the tourism and aviation industry to discuss business opportunities that could contribute towards systematic integration of the world’s economy and development of profitable and mutually beneficial routes for all.  

The City of Durban and the province’s Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs had envisioned that this moment in history will be shared and savoured as everyone involved will take home World Routes 2015 and everything it stands for and make it part of the city’s life journey.

“It is an honour and a pleasure to host you on the continent of Africa…a melting pot of opportunities and the place we call home. Thank you once again for attending World Routes in Durban. Savour each moment and watch your dreams take flight,” closes Mr Mabuyakhulu.

Mr. Michael Mabuyakhulu
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs